Today’s teens are the first generation to come of age with social media. So many facets of their lives are posted on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram that they simply can’t imagine a life without social media. However, for all of its innovation, psychologists warn that social media has been shown to become an addiction for some teens. If you’re a concerned parent, here are 13 signs that your child is addicted to social media.
#1 – Your Teen Wants Constant Access to Social Media
One of the early signs of social media addiction is the need for social media access. They must constantly be monitoring their status updates, checking for notifications, and being engaged with friends online. This is, after all, their public forum.
If your teen is unable to put their device down and engage in the real world for more than a few moments, you may want to intervene with some rules regarding social media time.
Is oversharing a problem…?
#2 – They Overshare with the World (TMI)
Social media is all about sharing, but sometimes people share too much. Your teen might be addicted to social media if they are posting every single nuance of their existence online. This aspect of social media promotes an entirely new level of vanity and mundanity that others on social media frankly find annoying. If your teen posts indiscriminately, he or she could post their debit card information or unwittingly invite thieves while on vacation. When it comes to social media, teens should know that less is more.
But what if they’re not connecting IRL…?
#3 – Ignoring Real Life
This one is tricky because social media is the contemporary teenager’s social
With digital addiction affecting roughly 50% of teens, parents need to take control of screen time.
Social media can also mess with their emotions…
#4 – They Become Stressed or Upset About Posts
Usually, when someone posts on social media, they will check periodically to see if anyone has responded. And studies have shown links between social media and depression — even with kids who aren’t addicted.
However, if someone is addicted to social media checks and finds no activity around their post, they begin to stress. Social media reinforces one’s sense of self, and if nobody pays attention, one might feel alienated. Teens are especially susceptible because their social media life is validated by their peers.
Another sign of addiction? Obsession with others…
#5 They Stalk Others
Teens typically do not know how to set or follow effective boundaries, and social media only exacerbates this issue. While stalking can happen to anyone, teen girls need to be particularly careful as cyberstalking is nothing new. Your teen should be aware of who is connecting with them or following them on social media, and know that stalking of any kind is a crime.
Amount of time online is also an indicator…